SEEK NZ Employment Report - applications per job ad rose 13% m/m



  • Job ad volumes declined 5% month-on-month (m/m) and are 22% lower compared to May 2022, when job ads were at their highest on record.
  • Applications per job ad rose 13% m/m.


  • An 8% drop in Wellington led the national monthly decline in job ads.
  • Gisborne (11%) and Marlborough (1%) were the two regions to record an increase in job ads in May.


  • Most industries recorded a drop in job ad volumes m/m, with the greatest contributor to overall decline being Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics (-7%).
  • Healthcare & Medical (1%), Construction (3%) and Engineering (4%), were the largest industries by volume to record job ad growth in May.
  • Applications per job ad rose in all industries, including by 38% in Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics.

Rob Clark, SEEK NZ Country Manager says:

“Job ads fell for the second consecutive month, due to small decreases in volumes in the largest industries of Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics and Trades & Services.

“Most regions recorded decreases in job ads, with rising demand in some of the smaller regions not enough to offset the overall decline.  

“The need for workers in Healthcare & Medical has risen continually over the past three months, with Aged Care Nurses and Psychologists & Counsellors driving demand.

“The nation’s workers are mobilising again, with applications per job ad at levels not seen since the pandemic first hit and job ads were at record lows. Roles for Drivers, Couriers, Building Trades and Warehouse workers were particularly popular in May.”


May recorded the second decline in jobs ads this year, falling 5% from April. Job ad volumes are now 22% lower than the same time last year, when job ads were at their highest on record, but are 9% higher than May 2019.

Applications per job ad continue to climb, rising by 13%, and are now 89% higher than pre-COVID levels.

Figure 1: National SEEK job ad percentage change m/m May 2022 to May 2023.

Table 2: National and regional job ad growth/decline comparing May 2023 to: i) April 2023 (m/m) and ii) May 2022 (y/y).


All but two regions recorded m/m job ad decline in May – Gisborne rose 11% m/m and Marlborough increased 1%.

The national decline was driven by a fall in job ads in Wellington (-8%), Auckland (-3%) and Canterbury (-3%).

All regions are recording higher job ad levels than pre-COVID, apart from Auckland, which is now 9% lower compared to May 2019.

Applications per job ad rose in every region across the country, including Auckland (14%), Wellington (10%) and Canterbury (16%).

Figure 2: Major region job ad volumes – May 2019 to May 2023

Figure 3: National SEEK job ad percentage change by region (May 2023 vs April 2023).


Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics drove the overall decline in job ads m/m (-7%), followed by Hospitality & Tourism (-10%) and Trades & Services (-6%). Taking a quarterly perspective, job ads are higher than the previous quarter for most industries, but not the largest three; Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics (-5%), Trades & Services (-6%) and Information & Communication Technology (-5%).

As in April, Healthcare & Medical was the largest industry to record a rise in jobs ads, up 1% m/m, driven by demand for Aged Care Nurses, Psychologists and Physiotherapists. Construction (3%) and Engineering (4%) roles also bucked the overall decline in job ads.

Applications per job ad rose a significant 38% in roles within Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, the largest industry by job ad volume. Specifically, roles for Drivers, Couriers and Postal Services and Warehouse, Storage & Distribution received a surge in applications during the month.  

Hospitality & Tourism and Trades & Services roles also recorded an increase in applications per job ad rising 29% and 21% respectively.

Figure 4: National SEEK job ad percentage change by industry (May 2023 vs April 2023) – Ordered by job ad volume

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MEDIA NOTE: When reporting SEEK NZ data, we request that you attribute SEEK NZ as the source and refer to SEEK NZ as an employment marketplace.